Down to the wire: Budget good for health care system

The legislature today released a $43 billion operating budget for the 2017-2019 biennium. If approved before midnight — as is expected — they will have avoided a partial state government shutdown by mere hours. WSHA is very pleased with the results for health care overall, and particularly applauds the legislature's additional funding of and important reforms to the state's mental health system.... Read More >>

Inside Olympia: House and Senate release capital budgets — Major funding for mental health and dental access

The House and Senate capital budgets contain major investments for community projects to increase access to mental health services across the care continuum. WSHA is very pleased to see these funding levels that will help spur new services for some of the most complex patients. Both budgets also provide funding for the addition or expansion of dental chairs to certain provider clinics. ... Read More >>

Inside Olympia: Tax bill concerns and policy bill progress report

The House and Senate have now passed their respective budgets. WSHA supports the spending plans of both the House and Senate, both of which put important resources into health care, most prominently making improvements to the behavioral health system. ... Read More >>

House budget overview on top WSHA priorities

The Big Picture: The House’s spending plan on WSHA’s key priorities is similar to the Senate’s solid support of needed health care services. Of note: No cuts to Medicaid payments for hospital-based clinics; Hospital safety net assessment included; Mental health care funding and reforms are good; Medicaid waiver funds appropriated (this was mostly not included in the Senate budget)... Read More >>

Senate budget overview on top WSHA priorities

The Senate Majority Coalition Caucus released its budget today, and it is overall positive for WSHA's budget priorities. The budget does not include any cuts to hospital-based clinics and also funds several other important health care priorities.... Read More >>

Focus on Mental Health Funding and Post-Acute Placements

The budget decreases state hospital beds, moves patients to community hospitals and invests in post-acute discharge facilities. ... Read More >>

SB 5800: Duty to Warn Gets a Hearing

Senate Bill 5800 will clarify that mental health providers have a duty to warn of a serious or imminent threat to the health or safety of a reasonably identifiable person or persons. They discharge the duty by communicating the threat to the person or persons whose health or safety is threatened or to law enforcement. Once the duty is discharged, limited liability protections are conferred on the provider.... Read More >>

Balance billing legislation places burden on hospitals

HB 2114 (originally HB 1117) is aimed at protecting patients who use an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgery center, but then receive an additional "balance" bill from an out-of-network provider for care during their stay. WSHA supports protections for patients in emergency situations in which they have no control over who provides their care. However, the bill as currently drafted creates significant administrative burden, cost and liability for hospitals. ... Read More >>

Balance billing legislation places burden on hospitals 

HB 2114 (originally HB 1117) is aimed at protecting patients who use an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgery center, but then receive an additional "balance" bill from an out-of-network provider for care during their stay. SHA supports protections for patients in emergency situations in which they have no control over who provides their care. However, the bill as currently drafted creates significant administrative burden, cost and liability for hospitals.... Read More >>

Inside Olympia: Bills moving to the opposite house

Wednesday, March 8 was the cutoff for bills to be voted out of their house of origin and move to the opposite house for consideration. There are a number of important bills still alive that WSHA both supports and opposes, including bills related to nurse staffing requirements, duty to warn, balance billing and flexibility in physician contracts.... Read More >>

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